CNC machining is a manufacturing process commonly used across a wealth of different industries. From the automotive and medical sectors through to the aerospace industry, the manufacturing process can support many different applications. It’s a process that is hugely versatile. However, businesses and engineers face many types of manufacturing to choose from.

All manufacturing processes have their own set of advantages and limitations. Choosing the right process means having to weigh up those factors taking into account the project at hand. For example, CNC machining is the most appropriate choice for a small number of intricate metal components. However, if you’re looking for plastic parts with internal geometries, 3D printing is the most suitable process to go for.

So, when else should you choose CNC manufacturing?

Precision And Tight Tolerances

When accuracy and tight tolerances are pivotal, CNC manufacturing is the best process to go for. It offers the highest levels of accuracy and the ability to meet tight tolerances. Additionally, CNC machining has a superior edge against other manufacturing processes when it comes to precision.

High Performance Parts

CNC machining services can work with a cross-section of different materials – including high strength metals. CNC machined parts can be cut from these metals to achieve parts that boast fantastic mechanical properties and are strong in all three dimensions. When it comes to machined parts, most of those that have to be used in intense applications and environments will be made using CNC manufacturing. 3D printing or moulded parts will often be in use to produce parts with complex geometries that 5-axis machining cannot even accomplish.

Simple Geometry 

When the geometry is kept basic and the requirement is to produce simple solid shapes, CNC machining is usually the most suitable manufacturing technique to invest in. Depending on the type of material and unit requirements, injection moulding may also be an option.

Small To Medium Volumes

CNC machining delivers on quality and accuracy every time, and in short time frames too considering the level of precision it can achieve. However, order volume is certainly something to consider when choosing a manufacturing process. For instance, 3D printing is probably not the best option if you’re looking for mass production. CNC machining, meanwhile, is suitable for small to large production volumes. Being a fast and affordable manufacturing process, it is suitable for quantities of anywhere between 1 and 1,000 units.

CNC manufacturing does not usually require specific tooling either which means small orders could benefit from the process.


Whilst CNC manufacturing services are not the most expensive manufacturing services available, they aren’t the lowest priced option either. The cost-effectiveness often depends on the volume of products being produced. CNC machining can be cost-effective for a wide variety of production volumes and geometries. So, the best thing to do is have your component or engineering drawings to hand, and forward them on to a production engineer for evaluation and costing.

If you would like to find out more about CNC manufacturing, then look no further than PT Engineers. As one of the country’s leading providers of CNC machining services, we can talk you through everything you need to know.

Head to our website for more information, or call 01788 543661 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.

If you have found this blog helpful, you may wish to read our previous blog on CNC Cutting and Turning Services.